back to article Simplez: OLD SCHOOL TECH can SAVE the MEERKAT

Ever wondered who tried to steal your meerkat? Well, worry no longer thanks to the London Zoo, Google and CCTV biz Kinesense. During our review of Nominet and LoveHz use of TV whitespace to create a flood early warning system in Oxford, we stumbled across another test program in the works - the use of cameras to catch poachers …

  1. Mage Silver badge

    To Recap

    "White Space is that area of spectrum that is no longer use to broadcast analogue TV signals thanks to the modern wonders of digitisation."

    Sorry, but that is a LIE. A myth. The channels are in use either for Digital TV or Mobile. In some countries still Analogue TV.

    So called "White space" is the fallacious idea that a TV channel used somewhere else in the country, but apparently not locally can be re-used by a two way data link or something else. It's called White Space in USA originally as in Analogue TV days before CPU controlled TVs, you got a screen of white noise if there was no reception on a channel.

    There are frequencies that CAN be safely allocated, but TV frequencies can not. They are not lying fallow.

    Some channels can't be used, to avoid interference in a many locations and especially when propagation is better due to weather. So called White Space creates interference. The victims will not know why picture is pixellating or freezing, nor know who to complain to.

    Please stop reprinting these press releases without editorial comment. This is not about poachers, but selling technology to the west eventually.

    This is the important bit, not the so called "white space" use.

    "Well, CCTV firm KineSense has software that can scan hours of video to quickly identify movement and/or colour changes. The company's CTO, Mark Sugrue, showed us how it works: you can run the footage through, or select certain areas of a picture and run it as a filter. The software will zoom through the footage and indicate the level of movement at any given period of time, even breaking out the relevant parts into separate video clips."

    This application doesn't rely on "White Space" at all. It could use many frequencies unused between 275MHz and 470MHz in Africa, or between 862MHz and 921MHz. Though I'd have to check spectrum use in the desired countries.

    Regulators are supposed to manage spectrum. Not Tech companies.

  2. tony2heads

    " Aardvark, poacher, meerkat, elephant. It all makes sense – in theory at least"

    WTF does that mean

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Oi! He said it makes sense. DO NOT QUESTION IT.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clicked on the link to see this amazing video, but all I got was a marketing presentation. WTF? Including the footage would have been journalism, including a random marketing presentation makes me think there is a shill at work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You think the video is marketing fluff - fair enough. You think we may be shilling - unfair and wrong.

      1. handle

        But could at least correct your naive description of "white space". It isn't simply the frequencies vacated by analogue TV, which would be nothing special. As Mage says, it is the parts of the spectrum in a given area which are apparenty not in use for TV broadcasts, requiring a device to be location-aware in order to know what frequencies and transmission powers to use. Unfortunately Mage then rather clouds the issue by going off on one about how free this spectrum actually is.

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: But

          " it is the parts of the spectrum in a given area which are apparently not in use for TV broadcasts, requiring a device to be location-aware in order to know what frequencies and transmission powers to use. "

          [My emphasis]

          Exactly. Unfortunately just knowing your own location doesn't actually work, unless EVERY TV tuner device is reporting in real time which signal source it's really using, as for many reasons some viewers need to use a different one to the "normal" service area.

          It's been proved time and again, that a single planning agency needs to allocate all the channels. In most networks there are no real holes. The "Hidden Transmitter Syndrome" is only part of the problem. Also who will police so called "White Space" devices and ensure they don't add illegal power amplifier, bigger aerial (easy ways of ignoring the database), or the user simply deciding the frequency is free and over-riding the database.

          Only Angels could be trusted to use "White Space" and even then sometimes the database will be wrong, users will have interference and unlike Analogue (i.e. you HEAR the CB) , will only get pixelation or occasional freezing and will not know what is causing it or who to complain to.

          The very concept of "White Space" is inherently flawed.

  4. launcap Silver badge


    I can finally work out which of my cats is stealing my wine! Must be the cats, I don't remember drinking *those* bottles..

  5. Clamps Silver badge

    ok , so that explains how the picute is transnitted , then looked at by a computer , then looked at by a person if the computer thinks something noteworthy. Did I miss the bit about how you cover a whole national park with cameras?

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